Timoy - Talinguroy Road Commuters thank Gov. Fongwan

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By Benny Balweg

Snapshot Focus

Friday, May 23, 2014


IT WAS past noon hour last Thursday when I suddenly thought of revving my ever-ready Mitsubishi Nissan to go from Camp 7, Baguio to some outskirts of La Trindad, Benguet. Good, an old hand from the UV Express Co. happened to pass by to join me in the adventuring trip. He volunteered to be the one to “hold” the steering wheel. I was more thankful, in fact, elated to be free from stress. I could pay more attention to happening along the way.

Before heading for our final destination, we visited the Main Office of the Cooperative Union of Baguio City at the Lourdes Parish Church Compound, then the BARP main office at Otek Street, below the Baguio City Hall. After my signing documents at the BARP Multi-Purpose Cooperative Office, and checking articles for our BARP Newsletter at the BFI Office, we continued towards La Trinidad. For a change of viewing, we decided to use the Baguio-LTB alternate route. We followed the Naguilian Road, ascended upwards Quezon Hill then turned towards Tam-awan Village and finally to the upper portion of Lamtang Road.

Upon reaching the crossing, I thought of better seeing first a garden farm I happened to see when I was still in active service at the Benguet State University. Anyway, the inheritor-owner was very much knowledgeable of a matter I wanted to verify as requested of me as present President of the BSU Retirees Association by BSU-RA members.

The last minute’s decision proved fruitful. To the western side of the topmost promontory of the Timoy-Talinguroy knoll, I saw the reddish tiled roof of a city-like building fronting an older bungalow-type one.

When we knocked at the iron gate, the familiar figure of a lady appeared at the door of the first floor of the new house. No wonder she was no more seen at the BSU Hi Canteen. I thought to myself. I recognized right away Madame Terry Tipayno. She hastened to open the gate while preventing the friendly canine guards to pass out.

“Is Fred in?” I asked in Iloko after the usual greetings. Assured that Dr. Fred Tipayno was in, I entered with my companion Ryan Saking. True, I soon saw the figure of a hatted man coming from where six high-breed cattles were tied for feeding on newly-cut green grass. Upon seeing us, he hurriedly approached with the same energizing grin he was known for when still at the office of VP for Administration of BSU. By the way, he occupied this position from 2006 up to his retirement in October 16, 2013, followed by Mrs. Tipayno later.

But in these post-meridian hours, my interest was diverted from about our mentoring and administrative stints at BSU to something else along the way and the immediate surroundings that really struck me. Some years ago, when I went to visit the same area during a rainy month, I observed that the wheels of vehicles kept on sliding on muddy parts of the Timoy-Talinguroy Road. They seemed to be parts of the proverbial government-forsaken areas (“sulsulinek”) despite the fact that the vehicles were loading farm and forest products for the town markets of Baguio and La Trinidad.

“How come, some miracle has happened?” I expressed my happy impression to Fred, who now prefers to be considered an active farm hand than still a professor in the academe. I mean, “How different the road?” I continued. “Yes, yes,” he enthusiastically responded. “I thought Gov. Fongwan was just giving a casual nod when I made the request for improvement of our road, but he did not forget ‘gayam’! Now, you saw it yourself. Mostly tire-pathed yet, but good enough for the moment. The newly fully-cemented portion was the Governor’s positive promise to my request made previously in the name of the people of Timoy, Puguis and Talinguroy, Wangal. I thought he would forget but no, he did it! And we are very thankful. We did not formally thank him yet because the contractor did not yet fulfill the occasion that he had indicated.”

When I asked how long was the newly cemented one-lane road that now covered the formerly scraped but very slippery part when wet, Fred answered, “Supposed to be one hundred meters but because of the needed widening of some portions for vehicles to meet, the one hundred bags of cement and the gravel and sand could only cover some eighty-four or so meters long of road.” When I asked how the Governor was able to produce the budget, Fred said he did not know.

As to the cemented approach road from the barangay road to his family lot where I got stranded in my first trip to his farm, Fred proudly explained that the expense was his personal. Anyway, he had been selling oranges and Arabica coffee. I did not see any more Japanese oranges this time but there were flowering coffee plants and more of newly planted Arabica coffee seedlings.

My imaginative mind travelled to the coffee plantation of another BSU retiree Prof. Ben Dimas, also along the Baguio-Trinidad alternate highway, and to the bottled fruit preserve project and other family ventures of retiree Dr. Jane Avila, the incumbent BSU-RA Secretary. They indeed enhanced the profile of the BSU Retirees Association and help students and fresh graduates to find jobs. They are exemplar retirees. Ben, Jane, you should enter BARP (Blessed Association of Retired Persons) where you can serve as you had served.

Before closing, I would like to reiterate Dr. Fred Tipayno’s request for this column to express his heartfelt thanks as well as of all beneficiaries/users of the Timoy-Talinguroy Road to good Governor Nestor Fongwan. And to Dr. Fred Tipayno, may your tribe increase! If volunteer workers for funds and conduits thereof would only act the way you did, being watchful and very responsible for funds, funders here and abroad would not hesitate to share more of what they have to hasten Philippine national development. Again, to you both, thank you, thank you; God bless your efforts!

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 24, 2014.

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